Existing Economic Data - Box 2

Existing Economic Data - Box 2

Transportation Services Output Indices

Experimental indices of overall transportation output under development by the Bureau of Transportation Statistics show that some types of transportation tend to rise and fall in advance of corresponding changes in the overall economy. These transportation services output indices, which measure passenger, freight, and total output of services for-hire, are being studied in context with the growth cycles of the U.S. economy. The turning points of the freight measure, in particular, seem to lead the economic turning points by several months, potentially providing a useful forecasting tool.